Painful Liberation


Gracious Lord, forgive me, empower me, and guide me as I endeavor to live for You today.

READ: Exodus 12:21–36

Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

“Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. The Israelites did just what the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead.

The Exodus

During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.”

The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country. “For otherwise,” they said, “we will all die!” So the people took their dough before the yeast was added, and carried it on their shoulders in kneading troughs wrapped in clothing. The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12:21–36


Think of a time when you’ve been delayed on a journey – perhaps a flight or train. Are you patient in your waiting, or do you get frustrated? Imagine how the people of Israel felt waiting for their release. The people of Israel do what God asks and prepare for the Passover – this meal would always be a special memorial for them (vs 24–28). The dark night covers Egypt, and families are devastated by the loss of their firstborn sons (v 29). It is hard to imagine how it felt for them. This devastating night is the last straw for Pharaoh and he tells God’s people to go and worship the Lord (v 31).

The Israelites and their families are spared. They are sent on their way out of Egypt with great urgency (v 33), taking with them the Egyptians’ gold and silver which would provide for their future needs (vs 35,36).

The Israelites’ need for deliverance points to our own need; and the death of the Passover lamb and the Egyptians’ firstborn sons echoes that of another firstborn Son. God the Father sent his only Son to come to earth to rescue us. His Son – the lamb of God – died on the cross and shed his blood for us. This was the greatest sacrifice and act of atonement for us. The Israelites experience a foreshadowing of this redemption in the Passover.


Reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and the deliverance he brings: ‘Father God, thank you for sending your only Son, Jesus, to die for me. Amen.’


‘Father God, thank You for sending Your only Son, Jesus, to die for me.


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